CAPE Youth Project engages Galway’s next generation

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CAPE Youth Project members working

Galway’s CAPE Youth Project will be launching a monthly movie night for young people starting Friday, February 2.

Part of Youth Work Ireland Galway, which works with over 6,000 young people in both the city and county, the project encourages local youths from the ages of 14-21 to improve their community through various social activities.

Longtime Galway city resident Letizia Gorini Coady has worked with the CAPE Youth Project for the past two years.

“Often young people are not seen as active members of the community,” says Letizia. “We are working to change that…we give a space for the young people to do things that they like and also make a difference in the community.”

The project’s past activities include holding workshops on climate change, a campaign to promote re-usable water bottles, and a clothing upcycling group that aimed to draw attention to sustainability issues in fast fashion.

“What makes the organisation special is that young people are at the centre. We don’t just decide what to do…young people are consulted in the planning of the activities, and we only help them in achieving that.”

CAPE stands for Circles and Peer Education. True to its name, the movie nights are meant to get attendees thinking about complex topics like climate change, discrimination, and inclusion.

But ultimately the youths will decide what they are interested in seeing.

“Young people are very passionate. I think they want to make a difference in their community, but they often don’t have the chance to do it. So that’s why we do what we are doing—to facilitate them. Often teenagers are just considered as troublemakers, always on tablets or smartphones, but that’s not true,” Letizia explains.

“If you want to make a change, you need to start with young people. There are a lot of workshops and projects for primary schools. Then when you get to teens, the choice is not there, because teenagers are more difficult to engage…but once they are engaged, they are amazing. They can make an impact. And we help them realise their full potential.”

Most Youth Project group activities are free, but the movie night will cost €2 per person for pizza. Attendees will choose the film from a number of options. Space is extremely limited, however, so anyone interested in attending should email Letizia at cape@youthworkgalway.ie.